Published: 29 March 2021

A week in the life of a chemical engineering undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BEng or MEng chemical engineering student at Surrey.

How you'll learn

Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:

* Group work

* Laboratory-based practicals

* Lectures

* Online learning

* Tutorials

Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, running specialist software and reading.

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I really like the small tutorial classes and the fact they’re so interactive. Being put into groups for coursework projects has helped me to make new friends in every year of studying.”

Imogen Slinn, Chemical Engineering MEng

A typical week in your first year

In your first year, you'll receive approximately 22 contact hours each week. The following timetable is for Semester 1. Laboratory sessions are a key feature of Semester 2’s timetable.


10am-12pm – Scientific Fundamentals – Tutorial

2-4pm – Mass and Energy Balances – Lecture

5-6pm – Mathematics – Lecture


12-1pm – Mass and Energy Balances – Tutorial

1-2pm – Mathematics – Lecture

3-5pm – Engineering Materials and Sustainability – Lecture


9-10am – Scientific Fundamentals – Lecture

10-11am – Engineering Materials and Sustainability – Lecture

Please note, Wednesday afternoons are left free for sporting and other University society activities.


9-11am – Scientific Fundamentals – Lecture

11am-12pm – Personal Tutorial

12-1pm – Mass and Energy Balances – Tutorial

4-6pm – Mass and Energy Balances – Tutorial


9-10am – Mathematics – Lecture

11am-12pm – Mathematics – Tutorial

1-3pm – Scientific Fundamentals – Lecture

Life outside of lectures

We’re a campus university so everything you need is within a five-minute walk, including the Students’ Union building, grocery shopping, wellbeing and support services, the launderette and the medical centre. Students also have access to more than 180 student clubs and societies, with interests ranging from mixed martial arts to mah jong, and poker to politics.

Nearby Surrey Sports Park is a £36m facility, offering state-of-the-art training facilities such as a climbing wall and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Guildford’s picturesque cobbled high street boasts a wide range of retail and catering outlets, plus an excellent range of pubs and a busy nightlife. The town is also only a 35-minute train journey to London.  

Find out more about undergraduate study in our Department of Chemical and Process Engineering.

Disclaimer: The timetable and modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hybrid learning model is under continuous review. See the latest information on all changes.

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